Free 8GB IPhone from Softbank

February 27, 2009

A few days ago, I wrote about a $99 iPhone from Best Buy. Now we have news that Softbank, Apple’s partner and the iPhone carrier in Japan, plans to introduce a new program Friday that will give some iPhones away for free with a new two-year contract.

This deal is basically for new subscribers who is going to sign up for a plan starting on Friday. This move will likely disappoint others who paid the full price of $235 (22,782 yen). This deal is ultimately part of Apple’s new program “IPhone for everybody” that strives to spread the popularity of the phone all over the world.

Softbank also cut the cost of its maximum data plan rates as part of the new announcement, from $62 a month to $45.60 a month. Voice calls and texts are free among Softbank customers, but if your friend or colleague is an NTT DoCoMo customer, charges can start to accumulate quickly at 20 cents for a 30-second call. AT&T’s most expensive iPhone voice and data plan checks in at $129 for unlimited usage.

This ruse is probably also a way for the IPhone to crack the Japanese market. Earlier in its release, the Japanese were reluctant to adapt to the popular and stylish phone due to its limited functionalities. Some functionalities that were already mainstream in Japanese phones are visibly lacking in Apple’s handset.


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